After a dozen years, the Archdiocese of Boston has finally prevailed in the courts over a group of sit-in protesters who refused to vacate the former church of a suppressed parish, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Scituate. I blogged about this sit-in from the beginning, and it was clear early on that this wasn't just about parishioners who didn't want to lose their parish. If that were so, this would have ended like the other dozen or so sit-in protests that have faded over the years. No, this was about certain abutting interests in Scituate who didn't want to see 30 acres of waterfront real estate go on the market and disrupt their neighborhood. And it was about an archdiocese so worried at looking like the bad guys at first that they dealt with kid gloves.
Sure, some church officials will see this as a win, having waited out the protesters until every last conceivable (and inconceivable) appeal was exhausted and every previous promise to vacate the premises broken. (In fact, I'll believe they're done when they leave on their new promised date of May 29.)
But what have we, as a Church, won besides the right to sell some land for a tidy profit? It looks like we've won some new Protestants.
Rogers said that after leaving the church, his group would gather in a new location and attempt to reach out to former Catholics who have drifted away from the church since the clergy sex abuse scandal surfaced in 2002.
Not exactly what we're supposed to be about.